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Northwestern Begins Trial to Prevent Kidney Disease in Diabetes

Researchers at the Feinberg School of Medicine are launching a trial to see if they can prevent the development of kidney disease in people with type 1 diabetes.

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October 21, 2008 | by Marla Paul
CHICAGO --- About 30 to 40 percent of the estimated 3 million Americans with type 1 diabetes will eventually develop debilitating kidney disease. Diabetes is the leading cause of end-stage renal disease that requires either a kidney transplant or dependence on dialysis.

Researchers at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine are launching a trial to see if they can prevent the development of kidney disease in people with type 1 diabetes through early intervention with a commonly prescribed blood pressure medication that has protective effects on the kidney.

The multi-center trial is called Prevent Risks by Early interVention at Nighttime in Type 1 diabetes for Kidney Disease (PREVENTKD.) It is funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. In the trial, researchers hope to develop tools to identify the people with type 1 diabetes at greatest risk of developing kidney disease and see whether they can prevent it using the blood pressure medication.

"Current standard of care is to provide treatment after there is already evidence of damage to the kidney, but we don't know if preventive therapy should be started early on because of the lack of previous studies in this area," said Vincent Yang, M.D, a nephrology fellow in the Feinberg School working on this trial. "In fact, people that do not need treatment are treated unnecessarily because of lack of medical evidence."

"We hope PREVENTKD will provide the framework to understand when treatment should be started and the optimal timing to prevent the development of this kidney disease before it begins," noted Daniel Batlle, M.D., the principal investigator of the clinical trial and professor of medicine in the Feinberg School. Batlle also is chief of the division of nephrology/hypertension at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

The trial is currently recruiting subjects and is open to men and women between ages 13 to 50 who have had type 1 diabetes for five to 28 years, have normal blood pressure and have no evidence of kidney disease. The primary study site is at Northwestern with other recruitment sites at Rush University Medical Center, University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine, Loyola University Medical Center and the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Interested participants should call 312-503-2183 or e-mail preventkd@preventkd.com. More information can be obtained by visiting the study's website at www.preventkd.com.